Wednesday, April 29, 2009
I'm going to look into gluten-free waffles for our celiac, veg-friendly friends.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Why do you think getting rid of the experts was the first step in helping you solve your problem?
I had to throw out the word diet. I love food. That’s who I am. I enjoy a good meal. I’ve got to accept who I am. I’ve had enough of people telling me what to do. I had to do this one thing for myself, not for my mother, for the media or for my career.
I threw out every single diet notion I’d learned. I allowed myself to eat every single food group. My extreme cravings went away. I allowed myself to have cookies or pasta. I stopped dieting and I started living life. That’s how I lost 37 pounds.
You talk about making small changes to gain control of the eating binges. What were some of those changes?I love to walk. Everybody told me walking was a waste of time. I started walking half an hour because my foot was in a cast. I started slowly, but now I walk seven days a week every week for maybe an hour or maybe just 45 minutes. And I put pasta and bread back into my life. In the beginning I would struggle. I’d say, “let me just go for a walk” and slowly shift my mind. It took my mind off of that intense pressure I felt that I needed to eat right away to calm me down. Read the full article
Monday, April 27, 2009
Learn more about puppy mills from Animal Planet
“Puppy Mills,” an episode of “Animal Cops: Philadelphia” having its premiere Monday on Animal Planet, spends much of its time detailing a raid last year at Limestone Kennel in Lancaster County, Pa., where the Pennsylvania Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals found almost 90 dogs living in conditions that more than justify the “viewer discretion” warning at the beginning of the program.Such operations exist to churn out puppies that can be sold to brokers, who then pass them along to pet stores and other outlets.
...“They’re just bred incessantly in horrendous conditions,” he says bluntly, “and as soon as they don’t come into heat regularly, they take them out and shoot them.”
...The program acknowledges but doesn’t explore in depth the great contradiction in all this: while puppy mills are turning out dogs at an assembly-line pace, animal shelters are swamped and can’t give their dogs away. Read the full review
Somehow, someway, this issue needs to be adequately addressed in ways that avoid humiliation. Last year, United received 700 complaints about "seat infringement." Check out the full article and tell me how you would resolve this issue.
They are connecting on the Internet, holding meet-ups in bars, advertising on billboards and buses, volunteering at food pantries and picking up roadside trash, earning atheist groups recognition on adopt-a-highway signs.
They liken their strategy to that of the gay-rights movement, which lifted off when closeted members of a scorned minority decided to go public.
“It’s not about carrying banners or protesting,” said Herb Silverman, a math professor at the College of Charleston who founded the Secular Humanists of the Lowcountry, which has about 150 members on the coast of the Carolinas. “The most important thing is coming out of the closet.”Polls show that the ranks of atheists are growing. The American Religious Indentification Survey, a major study released last month, found that those who claimed “no religion” were the only demographic group that grew in all 50 states in the last 18 years. Read full article
Friday, April 24, 2009
Nothing like better population control in the midst of over-population, over-consumption, an energy crisis, and economic turmoil. Way to go, giving young women control over their own bodies.
Bush, millions of people should respect their bodies and minds and fuel themselves appropriately, and America should stop torturing.
There are persons in our society who are discriminated against and who deserve our protection. Twelve states, more than 50 cities, and many large corporations have opposed discrimination against transgendered persons.
New Hampshire and the General Court have a long and proud history of standing against discrimination. A few weeks ago, the House once again stood against discrimination. I would urge all citizens of our state and all members of the Senate to stand with us.
It's disgraceful that opponents of House Bill 415 have trivialized the very real challenges faced by a small segment of our population -- citizens who have come face to face with losing their job or being denied housing. READ THE FULL SPEECH
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Early in 2006 Google launched a self-censoring Chinese search engine, google.cn, and since announced that it would continue to expand its investments in China. Called "Gu Ge" in Chinese, google.cn affects Chinese Internet users by blocking and/or filtering search results for topics such as human rights, political reform, Tiananmen Square and Falun Gong, among others
Google has taken some small steps to respond to criticism about their operations in China and other repressive countries, but overall these efforts have had little impact on users in China, and censorship has not only continued, it has worsened...
Until January 2006, Google's Support Center claimed that it “does not censor results for any search term,” but removed this claim after reaching its deal with China. Google's willingness to participate in censorship contradicts the very principles it was founded upon. By its own terms, Google's mission is to “organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” READ FULL ARTICLE
Hours later, still shocked, I fiddled around and stumbled upon allegedly one of the top 25 censored stories from 1997:
Although generally silent on the issue, the media hit the fan in 1996 when Oprah talked about Mad Cow Disease on her show:
The birth of disparagement laws occurred in 1989 when the legendary CBS news magazine show 60 Minutes publicized a Natural Resources Defense Council report charging that the chemical Alar, which enhances the appearance of apples, caused cancer. Apples, apple juice, and applesauce were immediately removed from grocery store shelves, resulting in a loss of $130 million to Washington apple growers. In response, the Washington growers sued the television show for $250 million—insisting that their product had been falsely disparaged. Supporters of the agricultural disparagement laws aim to make products easier to market as well as to avoid significant financial losses.
These laws are a direct threat to the free speech rights granted under the First Amendment. Under such food disparage-ment laws, mass media and individual citizens would lose their right to inform—and to be informed. If you’re sued for disparagement and you lose, the punishment in Idaho is typical: you have to pay the plaintiff for recovery of all and any financial loss. In Colorado, you could also go to prison for a year. Perversely, such laws cannot be challenged until someone is charged with violating it. “It’s terrifying,” says David Bederman, an Emory University law professor who tried unsuccessfully to challenge Georgia’s disparagement law. The judge ruled that he couldn’t dispute the law until he had a real dispute. But a real dispute could have far-reaching implications.
Currently, there are twelve states that have passed these laws and thirteen that have legislation pending. Critics charge that scientists might not study the effects of pesticides on foods—and that journalists and activists might not report on or discuss such concerns—thus leaving consumers in the dark.
A coalition of cattle ranchers sued Winfrey and Lyman for $10.3 million, claiming that their comments caused the beef market to lose value. The suit was brought under the Texas False Disparagement of Food Products Act, a law that allows agricultural interests to sue an individual if something they say causes perishable food to decay “beyond marketability” (as would happen when people refuse to buy the product).Of course, Oprah won the case--but was stuck in costly litigation for years. The message was pretty much "Shut your mouth or else."
Case in point:
Oy vey. I really don't want to keep this article running so long, but this issue is just crazy:
Consider the experience of University of California at Santa Barbara environmental studies instructor J. Robert Hatherill. Passages in a book of his discussing the dangers of some dairy and meat products were removed by his publisher. Why? It was not out of a fear of losing a lawsuit, but of being sued in the first place.
“We could win the lawsuit,” Hatherill was told by his publisher, “but it would cost us millions and it’s just not worth it.”Those with the evidence to back up their claims, but without the resources to defend them in court, run the risk of self censorship.
Of course the agricultural industry insists that food disparagement laws are needed to protect their investments. But another reason for having such laws probably parallels the industry’s opposition to labeling. For example, food companies do not want to be forced to tell consumers that the package of skinless, boneless chicken breasts they are about to purchase had a dose of radiation sent through it (a process called irradiation).
The industry says that people have a right to NOT know how their food is produced, or what is in or on it, and that labeling irradiated food will lead to “irrational” behavior on the part of the consumer (i.e. people will not purchase the food). The industry even admits that consumers probably will not knowingly buy irradiated food.
Michael Colby, executive director of Food and Water, told the Springfield Advocate that letters to congress from a dozen food industry associations say that labeling makes food unmarketable.
“So these industries argue that these technologies are so safe, the greatest thing since sliced bread, but they hide the fact of their use. They know they have a technology that the American public overwhelmingly distrusts” Colby said.
So, by opposing labeling, corporations are trying to keep consumers from making purchasing decisions based on production practices.Veggie libel laws have a similar effect. Out of a fear of costly litigation, individuals or organizations may refrain from informing consumers about unhealthy food or the dangerous consequences of some agricultural practices. READ THE FULL ARTICLE
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Monday, April 20, 2009
The current economic crisis is straining more than just banks, the auto industry, and small businesses--it's hitting Saks and Barneys as well. Louis Vuitton had been a stranger to my inbox, but given the current financial climate, I've been receiving emails at least once a week (not to mention Louis Vuitton cut prices in Japan in 2008 in response to fluctuating markets). For the love of couture, Chanel actually had a sale in January 2009.
Here's the thing, high-end brands aren't booming because they sell items hot off the runway. It's the conventional relatively cheaper monogram trinkets that keep the ball rolling (LV key chain or papillion anyone?)
So I ask you, what will amp up shopping again? Enter Earth Day. 15% of online sales helping the environment will definitely get some action for Vuitton. And is there really a problem with that? Sure, well all win. You win with your class statement, the green movement wins with a hot donation, and LV wins with some more profit. But what remains unchallenged is the buy-buy-buy mentality and hyper-consumer culture at large.
I realize that we cannot buy a green revolution--it is something that needs to happen from the bottom up. Don't get me wrong, I am not a minimalist. The best thing that happened to vegan fashion is Stella McCartney. However, it's a question of how much over-priced stuff does a person really need? How many black shoes are actually necessary? Can you wait until you kill the old pair before adding a new pair?
For now, I have to say that campaigns cost money, and the climate can't represent itself for free. The conflation of consumerism and the green movement is a neccesary middle step in raising funds to advocate for and achieve minimal standards of efficiency. I do not favor communism whatsoever, but this mirrors the Marxist idea that capitalism is a positive and neccesary step in the process of class consciousness. Similarly, green consumerism is a positive and necessary step in cultivating green consciousness and renewable lifestyles.
So, while we're transitioning, if you're going to splurge a bit, spend it where it counts, and where the environment can stand to benefit.
Sunday, April 19, 2009
The Environmental Protection Agency on Friday formally declared carbon dioxide and five other heat-trapping gases to be pollutants that endanger public health and welfare, setting in motion a process that will lead to the regulation of the gases for the first time in the United States.
Saturday, April 18, 2009
The extreme polarization of stoic, hyper-aggressive and reckless masculinity coupled with the humiliation and physical abuse of women as strippers and prostitutes was both embarrassing and horrifying as an American. More mystifying was the uproar of male laughter during scenes of ultimate female degradation, e.g. physically abusing a prostitute or sexually exploiting women. By the way, I do have an appreciation for the physical form, but not when it exclusively and disproportionately parades the female body naked/scantily cladden under male dominance, as the object of exclusively male pleasure and property, and with no counter-acting sexualization of the male body--with a complete disregard for female pleasure ta boot.
It could be argued that in one sex scene the leading female actress was receiving mutual and consensual sexual pleasure--then she was literally thrown off the main character's cock into the mud, hosed down with water, and humiliated before thousands of spectators.
Other themes to ponder include homophobia, ethnocentrism (particularly the mockery of Asians), ableism and animal abuse.
Three things really struck me:
1) The destructive model of hyper-masculinity found praiseworthy by males and young boys
2) Audible and overwhelming male laughter at the expense, humiliation, and abuse of women.
3) Women accompanying and finding acceptable the amusement and laughter of their (presumably) boyfriends during scenes of female degradation.
Yes, yes...this is "just a movie." However, these models are internalized and contribute to greater normalizing of hyper-regulated and hyper-gendered bodies--at the expense of more well-rounded, well-adjusted, emotionally balanced and safer individuals and communities (not to mention more authentic and diverse self-expression).
Friday, April 17, 2009
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
Monday, April 13, 2009
2nd Place: "Women Were Designed For Homemaking"
Jonathan Goode (grade 7) applied findings from many fields of science to support his conclusion that God designed women for homemaking: physics shows that women have a lower center of gravity than men, making them more suited to carrying groceries and laundry baskets; biology shows that women were designed to carry un-born babies in their wombs and to feed born babies milk, making them the natural choice for child rearing; social sciences show that the wages for women workers are lower than for normal workers, meaning that they are unable to work as well and thus earn equal pay; and exegetics shows that God created Eve as a companion for Adam, not as a co-worker. READ MORE
He talked about his own school days, reminiscing fondly about seeing “a flag and a crucifix in each classroom.”Oh yes, the good old days when the church and state played together more openly.
He also commented:
“I am often surprised by the virtual nobility that seems to be accorded those with [the Bill of Rights]...shouldn’t there at least be equal time for our Bill of Obligations and our Bill of Responsibilities?”Read the full article in the New York Times.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
The author is pretty impressive. Here is a truncated bio:
Professor Darren Hutchinson teaches Constitutional Law, Critical Race Theory, Law and Social Change, and Equal Protection Theory at the American University, Washington College of Law. Professor Hutchinson received a B.A., cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania and a J.D. from Yale Law School. Professor Hutchinson has written extensively on issues related to the intersection of antidiscrimination law, social movements, and identity theory.
My little brother, who happens to be 10, also happens to have started his own youtube series. A difference of 11 years means so much more in terms of how the newest generation of kiddies are growing up learning how to adapt to changing and advancing technology. I myself, barely over 20, have to hustle to keep up with new bits and pieces that can easily make my life more convenient. It's not that I can't comprehend upgrades--it's just that considering such things is not even a part of my day. Love my iPhone, but I honestly don't have it in me to peruse through hundreds of applications--even if downloading these little goodies can save my time and energy later.
But for this next round of kids, looking for and adjusting to upgrades is already programmed in them. I think it's great. I think it would benefit people not to be alarmed by change, not to find it stressful, but to instead excitedly play around and see what can happen.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
I had previously blogged about how wasteful tampons are, and advocated for the reusable menstrual cup. Sustainability aside, the cup is much more cost-efficient. Consider a one-time payment of approximately $30 for the rest of your life, as compared to approximately $20 per month. It just makes financial sense. Period.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I myself am I bit confused as well. How are people gnawing on the rib cages of dead animals, chomping on baby calves, consuming aborted chicken fetus, slurping up raw clams, nibbling fattened goose liver, and theeennnn whining over a nutrient-rich human byproduct?
This only underscores how bald women are othered, tokenized, or seen as taboo. After all, what could be a more shocking ending than a "beautiful" woman gone bald to drive up donations?
I suppose bald is a either a beauty breakdown, or a vehicle of shock value.
In response to the public outrage, her spokesperson said that Democrats “want this to just be about race.”
“Rather than everyone here having to learn Chinese — I understand it’s a rather difficult language — do you think that it would behoove you and your citizens to adopt a name that we could deal with more readily here?” Brown said.
Brown later told [Organization of Chinese Americans representative Ramey] Ko: “Can’t you see that this is something that would make it a lot easier for you and the people who are poll workers if you could adopt a name just for identification purposes that’s easier for Americans to deal with?”
The enzymes, yeast, and sugar needed to create ethanol also can produce a lactic acid which compromises the fuel. To combat this, producers use penicillin and another antibiotic called virginiamycin to kill the bacteria. But this treatment can produce "superbugs," which become immune to antibiotics. This can threaten the effectiveness of healthcare among humans--raising eyebrows as to whether these superbugs can travel through the foodchain and affect us.
While the foodchain might be in danger, restricton of these antibiotics also has repurcussions down the economic chain:
Distillers grain is a major source of low-cost livestock feed. Any restrictions on its sale and use as feed will hurt the profit-scarce ethanol industry and the livestock farmers who rely on it.
Charlie Staff, executive director of the Distillers Grain Technology Council, said distillers grain is one of the few dependable moneymakers left for the ethanol industry.
"If they didn't have distillers grain as a revenue, many more of them wouldn't be able to operate," said Staff.
Meanwhile the regulatory process continues to play out. The FDA will test more distillers grain samples, and expects to issue a final report this summer.
Tuesday, April 7, 2009
Check it out!
Monday, April 6, 2009
While an estimated 9 million Americans suffer from bulimia nervosa, anorexia nervosa, binge eating disorder, and eating disorders not otherwise specified (EDNOS), research remains drastically underfunded and the genetic predispositions to eating disorders remain largely unexplored. Over 50% of factors that make one vulnerable to eating disorders are hereditary. More to the point, two people may share the same environment, but only one with certain genetic susceptibilities will develop an eating disorder. It was once explained to me that eating disorders are relationship disorders—relationships with self and others. As Dr. Lisa Lilenfeld shared at the FREED Act congressional briefing, “put someone with an eating disorder on a desert island alone, that person will still have an eating disorder.” Additionally, eating disorders impact males and females alike, with a previously understood ratio of 10:1 now approaching 3-4:1. Yet the stigma of eating disorders as passing phases or afflictions of the superficial and stupid cripple funding for research and awareness, keeping the problem in the closet and unaddressed—hiding the fact that eating disorders have the highest death rate of any psychiatric illness. Consequently, FREED includes provisions to determine the prevalence, incidence and correlates of eating disorders, as well as more accurate mortality rates.
While the bill itself is an exciting advance in promoting science over stigma, participants in the lobby day had their own telling stories to share. One recovered anorectic explained that, despite her doctor’s warning that her parents should prepare for her death, her insurance would not cover hospitalization unless she lost more weight. Fortunately, her parents were able to use retirement savings and take money out of their home. Another recovering bulimic shared concerns that none of her in-network therapists had any specialization in eating disorders at all. While the Paul Wellstone Mental Health Parity made some progress, the bill still leaves open the opportunity for insurance companies to decide who gets money and how much. Under these conditions, insurance companies undermine the advice of doctors and implement their own ambiguous criteria in determining coverage.
While eating disorders may be expensive to treat, the economic burden is even greater when these illnesses go under-treated or ignored. The lack of access to modern, science-based treatment means that thousands of families are spending thousands—and sometimes hundreds of thousands—of dollars on care models that simply do not work. The research portion of the FREED Act includes an economic analysis to determine years of productive life lost, missed days of work, reduced work productivity, costs medical/psychiatric treatment, prescription medications, hospitalizations, costs of other comorbidites, and other costs to society and family.
Considering these factors, it is fitting that The FREED Act comes into play during political discourse favoring prevention as a healthier and more cost-efficient plan over treatment after-the-fact. This specifically involves better training for professionals dealing with children and adolescents, and reconsideration of the way that BMI is discussed, measured, and reported in schools. Various legislative assistants commented that certain provisions of the FREED Act could feasibly be incorporated into larger healthcare reform packages to come. With time, increased visibility, research and education can combat harmful stereotypes that create barriers to information, care, and the willingness of survivors to share their experiences. Having faced the difficulties of recovery myself and as a junior board member of the EDC, I was touched by the turnout of the event and the candid stories of the participants. However, I will admit that I was struck by the male to female representation. As the lobby day was dominated by women, I milled over two thoughts. First, how perceptions of eating disorders as (upper-class, white) female neurosis create a cultural climate wherein male sufferers are less likely to come out and advocate for themselves. And secondly, even if more women suffer, where are the fathers, brothers, husbands, boyfriends and male friends who know first-hand how scary and painful these diseases truly are?
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
The Colonic has been so backed up this past week! My deepest apologies--I always feel like I die a little bit inside when my blog falls behind. Right now I am in DC, and had such a terrific day lobbying with The Eating Disorders Coalition that I can't wait to share with you all. Just a little too exhausted right now. Thanks for the slack.